9/11 Skepticism

by Morgan Reynolds

September 7, 2004

“September 11 is a defining moment in our history, and it’s certainly a defining moment in my presidency, and the question is whether or not we learned the lessons,” the War President told Rush Limbaugh the other day (AP dispatch, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 1, 2004, p. 13A). Yes, the treachery of that day three years ago continues to gnaw away at the nation. But to draw enlightened lessons, we’ve got to know what really happened. The problem, to paraphrase Democritus, is that the Bush administration has buried truth at the bottom of the sea.

Nowhere does this hunger to know burn more intensely than in New York City, site of the worst devastation. Despite a freshly polished conspiracy theory displayed in The 9/11 Commission Report, released five weeks ago and selling in the millions, doubt about the official tale is growing rather than waning. A new Zogby International poll shows that half of New York City residents believe some government leaders “knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act.” We might expect this eye-brow-raising opinion from Paris, France, or Munich, Germany, but are surprised when such skepticism comes from New York City. Conducted on the eve of the Republican National Convention, an even larger number of New Yorkers, two of three, want Congress or New York’s attorney general to open up a new investigation into the “unanswered questions” surrounding the attacks. The poll was sponsored by 911truth.org, a group hostile to the official account, but with the reputation of Zogby polling, there’s not much reason to doubt the survey’s accuracy.

Bush and the Republican party invoke 9/11 for personal profit, playing the fear card daily, but the downside for these fools is that it fans the thirst for real information about what happened on 9/11. True, the war party has the silent cooperation of a self-censored mainstream media, but that won’t be near enough to carry the day in the information age. Excellent investigations are headed our way and will stir the pot to boiling. To name two, David Ray Griffin, the author of The New Pearl Harbor, soon will publish a new book, The 9/11 Commission’s Omissions and Distortions: A Critique of the Zelikow Report, and journalist/activist Michael C. Ruppert will publish his shocking Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil.

The 9/11 Commission can’t quell skepticism about what happened three years ago for three major reasons: First, the event was just too big, too important, to accept a slipshod account and then forget about it. Too many big consequences flow from 9/11 daily, not least of which is the bogus “war on terror.” Second, the Bush government has boosted suspicion by getting so darned much benefit out of the whole deal. Where would this bunch be without the horrors of that day? Cui bono?, after all, is the linchpin of criminal investigation. Third, the Commission left way too many unanswered questions and avoided too much evidence.

The failure of the 9/11 Commission to investigate diligently and tell the truth was pathetically predictable. In the Reagan years the cliché was that “personnel is policy” and that’s why Bush negotiated for the power to appoint the Commission leadership. Result? By the standards of a court of law, all of the top personnel on the Commission would have been dismissed from the 9/11 case for cause – conflicts of interest – rather than serve as judges to hear testimony on the crime of the century. Rather than being impartial and independent, the key players were “mobbed up,” as a prosecutor might say.

•    Thomas Kean, appointed chairman of the Commission by Bush, is a “moderate” Republican politician and member of the board of directors and shareholder of Amerada Hess, which is involved in the Hess-Delta joint venture with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, reportedly owned by the [Khalid] Bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans. This company participated in planning a Trans-Afghan oil pipeline just before 9/11, and 9/11 provided the basis to invade Afghanistan, install a puppet government headed by a former Unocal employee and place military bases along the proposed route. Khalid Bin Mahfouz is Saudi Arabia’s largest banker and former senior executive with the legendary organized crime bank BCCI. Clients include the Saudi Royal family and the Saudi Bin Ladin group of companies. Mahfouz was linked to George W. Bush when he was in the oil business and in the BCCI scandal, as well as to Bush’s father and the American investment firm, Carlyle Group.
•    Lee Hamilton, vice chair (not co-chair), is a Democratic politician who has always sought “bipartisanship.” He chaired the House committee to investigate (cover up) the Iran/Contra affair in 1987 and performed a similar service on the House Committee to investigate the “October surprise” in which the Reagan-Bush campaign team had secretly negotiated with the Iranian revolutionary government to release the American hostages after the November presidential election in exchange for future weapons shipments to the Iranian government. The always-reliable Hamilton couldn’t find any wrong-doing in either investigation.
•    Philip Zelikow, appointed by Bush as executive director, served in Bush I with Condoleezza Rice, co-authored a 1997 book with the current national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, was on the transition team to advise the incoming Bush II administration on terror-related intelligence, and served on the Bush II foreign intelligence advisory board after 9/11 until appointment to the Commission. Zelikow admitted multiple contacts with Karl Rove, top political adviser in the White House, prior to appointment. Victims’ families repeatedly called for his resignation and limitations on his responsibilities.

Talk about conflicts of interest! There’s dirty laundry throughout the Commissioners. Only former Georgia Senator Max Clelland had the integrity to resign when he saw what was coming, calling the Commission a “sham.”

Knowing the personnel of the Commission, its abysmal Report is no surprise. It did its best for the White House, not the nation. Michael C. Ruppert is one of the more radical 9/11 researcher-critics around. Let’s follow his logic for a bit. He says, put aside the acrimonious debate over the physical evidence about what really caused the twin towers, WTC building 7, and the west wall of the Pentagon to collapse; put aside obstructionism by FBI headquarters, the mysterious U.S. military lay down on 9/11, the nonchalant behavior of Bush and the Secret Service on 9/11, the exploded airliner over Pennsylvania, Saudi flights out of the country, the skullduggery of the Pakistani secret service and the Israeli Mossad and a thousand other gaps in the official theory.

Instead, focus on the suspects. If it can be demonstrated via incriminating, irrefutable evidence that the suspects had means, motive and opportunity, then we’re on our way to criminals convicted in the court of truth. Ruppert says that the pivotal evidence that opens up the case and exposes the government conspirators is the secretive yet undisputed air war games that were going on the morning of 9/11. These games, conducted to protect against hijacked airliners as well as a Russian attack, included Vigilant Guardian, Northern Guardian, Vigilant Warrior, and Tripod II. All were reported on by major press organizations relying on quotes from participating military personnel, as well as NORAD press releases.

Now prepare yourself a jolt: “Ruppert’s new book will name Vice President Richard Cheney as the prime suspect in the mass murders of 9/11 and will establish that, not only was he a planner in the attacks, but also that on the day of the attacks he was running a completely separate Command, Control and Communications system which was superseding any orders being issued by the FAA, the Pentagon, or the White House Situation Room.”

Can this be right? Preposterous? Traitorous? Is Ruppert just another wild-eyed crackpot? I don’t know, but at least he’s not “mobbed up.” That’s more than the Commissioners can say. By its incredible behavior before, during and after 9/11, the government brought this spreading disbelief on itself. The issue-shirking Commission Report just means that more and more citizens realize the official account is a lie. Like New Yorkers, I’m still looking for truth. Based on Ruppert’s address to the elite Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, I might find some in his new book. Maybe it can prove its appalling thesis, maybe not. We should be able to check out its purported facts. As John Milton wrote, “Who ever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?” (H.L. Mencken, A New Dictionary of Quotations, 1989, p. 1221).

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